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Downtown Santa Barbara food/beer/wine ideas for an early Saturday night before Bowl show

Would love some ideas for SB trip on 4/17. Want to go for early food before concert so eating pretty early, likely 5-6pm-ish. Two "we eat everything" looking to focus maybe on more casual seafood or Mexican as I recall there were some great places there.

Also would love ideas for wine/beer places either before and/or after concert. Interested in some wines by the glass and lately loving beers too. (Beers like the Belgium white style such as Allagash White or local micro brew would be fun.) Hope to cab around so want to focus on downtown or not too far from Bowl area.

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  1. Are you staying in town that night? Do you have a problem with taking a taxi? This subject has come up before- is that what you mean by cab around?

    It makes a difference, as the parking at the Bowl can be a lengthy wait at times.

    1 Reply
    1. If you don't mind walking a bit, Cesar's has both Mexican and Seafood on Milpas Street, about 1/2 mile to the bowl. (Slightly up hill) http://www.santabarbara.com/Dining/re...

      The Wine Cask is open again and has a nice casual atmosphere for wine tasting back in town. And again if you are into walking back to town (20 minutes) East Anapamu Street which runs from the Bowl back to town will put you right in the heart of Wining an d Dining Ground Zero with all sorts of good dining choices. Cabs in SB are not a ready thing; not sure how they work on Bowl nights. So many people drive and really congest that area with its limited parking. We finally took to using our bikes as we live downtown. But if you are young, fit and adventuresome and taxis don't work for you that night, early dinner on Milpas Street and then later evening events around East Anapamu and State Street could do you just fine.

      We had an earlier thread on this same dining challenge surrounding a Bowl performance so you might want to search to see what ideas got exchange on that thread.

      Going to the Bowl is special so hope you can make it work for your dining needs and plans. And come back and tell us what ideas and what worked for you ---- or did not work? Picnics at the Bowl before the concerts were done, but don't know if they let you picnic there or not any longer. Alcohol is strictly taboo if you BYO, but they now do have an expanded snack bar service at the Bowl.

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      Wine Cask
      813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

      1 Reply
      1. re: glbtrtr

        Both sound great, thank you very much!

      2. The Brew House sounds like a good choice for what you're looking for, and it's a short cab ride from the Bowl area.

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        Brew House
        229 W Montecito St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

        1 Reply
        1. re: dgasser

          Trying this for sure, thank you!

        2. The Chase in downtown SB on State makes the most amazing calamari picatta that is a local fave and they prepare it where it taste just like abalone..they serve it with a side of fettucine and soup or salad for around $15 for dinner and $10 for lunch..
          I am so jonesing for this right now..
          Renaud's for the best croissants and great French pastries.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Beach Chick

            Today's NewsPress Scene magazine reviews Chase. Not sure they elevated anything there to a "local favorite" ,but it is a pleasant setting and magical at night with all the twinkly lights. They do discuss the picatta sauce.

            Agree with you about Renaud's making superb croissants, but they will not be open before or after the Bowl show.

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Yum, I'll let you know if we get there. I guess we can go to Renaud's for breakfast, sounds great.

              1. re: kmhiegel

                The Chase is the bomb. Love the cocktails, the booths, the calamari, the cocktails and the lights!!! Did I mention the cocktails?

            2. I will be there tonight too... unless something has changed (last time I was at the Bowl was August 2008) they have pretty decent wine at the venue. I believe I had some Beckmen Vineyards last time. So it's not too horrible beverage wise once you get inside.